Natural Distractions

There are more sunny days these past two weeks than there were in all of March, April, and May combined. The coast has changed, but the beauty of the oceans and the beaches continues. We set up hammocks on our back deck (5 so far). As I write this blog, I’m distracted by the blueness of the sky, and the greenness of grass, but what I like most is the sound the leaves make as the wind rustles them. Our big-leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) is so beautiful, the samaras are developing and soon we’ll have our little “helicopters” all over the backyard.

 

Last week, we finished our interpretive guide certification training. We had all the best parts of school: great instructors, toys, cool friends, and an outdoor classroom. We even had presentations.

 

My presentation was over the silver spot butterfly (Speyeria zerene hippolyta) a native of California, Oregon, and Washington who is currently listed as threatened by the Endangered Species Act. There are several partnerships between nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and volunteers to help populations recover. The Oregon zoo actually houses larvae, ensuring their pupation, and releases adults to augment and fortify existing populations. While they are trying to help current populations, agencies are also trying to establish new species in areas of suitable habitat. But one of the main issues, at least for the Siuslaw National Forest, is it’s uniqueness.

 

Because our special location along the coast (encompassing both coast and forest ) the Siuslaw is home to several threatened or vulnerable species, and biologists have to work to protect the habitats specific to these species. It really is eye-opening to see all of the work that goes into planning and reaching agreements with private owners, other government agencies, and the general public.

 

It’s great to know that our supervisors and their supervisors are constantly striving to provide “the greatest good, for the greatest number,” animals and humans alike.

Gabriela Wolf
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